So launch day (or Christmas day, or a Sagittarian birthday) comes, you frantically wrestle the Wii out of its box and set the thing up. Then you spend five minutes or so in awe of how perfect the controller feels, how small the console is and so on. Then you rummage about in the box and find Wii Sports lying there, staring back at you and psychically imploring "play me, ONM reader". But the big question is this: is Wii Sports a genuinely enthralling game with a healthy lifespan, or will you spend an hour playing it and never bother picking it up again?
The first of the five games you'll probably play (due to a combination of the hype that's surrounded it and the fact it's the top game on the list on the menu screen) is Tennis, one of the easier games to get to grips with. Up to four players can play in any combination of doubles matches (either one-game, three-game or five-game matches), and if there aren't enough people to make up the numbers then either the Wii will control the extra players or someone can control multiple players.
In fact, you can control all four players on your own if you fancy seeing how long you can keep a rally going. (This is easier than it sounds as you only need to concentrate on swinging the Remote because the Wii automatically moves your players around the court to put them into position.)
The graphics are pleasantly tidy and every time you hit the ball you hear a satisfying 'clunk' emanating from your Wii Remote's speaker, making you feel like you've wandered onto Centre Court at Wimbledon.
The second game on the list is Baseball, which is no longer simply the home run contest that we've been playing for the past few months. It takes place over three innings and you take turns batting then pitching. Both work as you'd expect, with pitching a case of simply making a throwing movement and holding a button to determine the sort of throw you'll make (hold A to throw a screwball, B to throw a curveball and B and A together to throw a splitter; not holding a button will throw a fastball).
As for batting - well, if you can't guess how that works then you probably need someone to remind you how to breathe every now and then. Whenever the batter makes contact, the outfielders on the other team scamper about and try to catch the ball. If they catch it quickly you're out; if it takes them a while you'll get a single and your player will run forward a base; if it takes them longer you'll get a double; and obviously putting it out of the park will get you a home run. It's simple and addictive and anyone can master it quickly.
Then we have Bowling, which is equally enjoyable. Using the D-pad to line up your player and the direction they'll be aiming in, you simply hold the B button, make an underarm throwing motion and release the B button at the right time to send the ball hurtling down the lane.
As with other games in this compilation, although Bowling seems simple enough it's actually got a fair bit of depth to it, and it's possible to spend hours experimenting with different throwing and spin techniques (releasing B earlier will cause more spin, as will turning the Remote as you throw).
Bowling's also potentially one of the longer games in the package, because four people playing a 10-frame game involves 52 throws, even if you assume everyone gets a strike every time. Which they won't.
When it comes to Golf, what was originally a basic demo letting you practise driving and putting has become a proper nine-hole course with three difficulty levels (basically, the harder you choose the windier it gets). When driving we found it slightly tricky to gauge how hard we were hitting the ball, but thankfully the option to take practice shots has been retained, meaning you can sort your power out and then try to copy that when you take your proper swing.